Raising Helen 2004

Critics score:
23 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press: Like one of Marshall's less-original sitcom pilots stretched way beyond feature length. Read more

Peter Debruge, Miami Herald: There's an old-school innocence to Marshall's style, and it's satisfying to be whisked away from reality to this parallel universe where we find it possible to laugh amid such a fundamentally tragic scenario. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: There's no real conflict, and the screenplay sometimes approaches idiocy. Read more

Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune: You can take the director out of television, but sometimes you can't take television out of the director. Read more

Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle: Far from the worst cookie-cutter film to come off the Hollywood assembly line, merely the latest. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: [Garry Marshall] piles on the cornball touches with the sledgehammer effect of a bad sitcom director. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: One of those bogus 'sincere' pictures -- a schmaltz-ridden mediocrity without an honest moment in it. Read more

Kathy Cano Murillo, Arizona Republic: As much as we want to wrap our hearts around this wannabe uplifting tearjerker, it's just too shallow to embrace. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Boils down every feel-good chick-flick cliche of the last 15 years into a lumpy mass of multiplex comfort food. Read more

Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times: This dry-duct soaper chugs along in the Hollywood netherworld where humor and pathos are in short supply. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: [Hudson] melds her radiance to a budding maternal soulfulness. Read more

Michael Booth, Denver Post: Constantly warm and sometimes devastatingly real, showing just how hard it can be for a family to replace the early departed. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: A winsomely formulaic domestic comedy that says that women can have it all -- but they really shouldn't try to. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: As relentlessly cute as you'd expect from a Garry Marshall picture. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: It confirms the suspicion that Mr. Marshall is more a commodity than a director. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: Marshall's directing is cheerfully basic, and his sense of pacing is sketchy at best, but he has a canny way of tapping into American talking points. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: A cunning and immensely likeable coming-of- parenting-age saga that repeatedly flies in the face of its own sitcom impulses. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Does its inoffensive comedy bit. It's all professional, predictable, by the numbers. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: Rest assured, these crises will be resolved, and Helen will be enriched by the experiences. But going through them with her throws more sugar into your system than I can take. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: Kate Hudson stars in this mildly ingratiating comedy as a selfish fashionista whose career stops short when she is granted custody of her late sister's three children. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: [Marshall] evidently finds the film's premise to be outrageously funny. Some viewers -- especially those who have looked out a window in the last 20 years -- may understandably be less impressed. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: At two hours, Raising Helen feels like it's never going to end, and, when the obligatory all-is-forgiven finale finally arrives, it's a welcome relief. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Tame and timid from beginning to end, and relentlessly conventional. Read more

Charles Taylor, Salon.com: This ode to the most stifling aspects of family and motherhood make you feel like the hicks have all uprooted themselves and moved into the front office at Touchstone. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The characters are cliched, and their predicaments are familiar. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Even those who seek the undemanding entertainment of life troubles being bravely dealt with might end up wishing they were given more than just sitcom resolutions. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: Almost nothing about Raising Helen rings very true, other than the camera's crush on Kate Hudson. Read more

Joe Leydon, Variety: Hudson generates enough good will in the first two-thirds of Raising Helen to offset sporadic preachiness. Read more

Jessica Winter, Village Voice: If [Helen] had her own NBC sitcom, she'd be safe for many a season of dating mishaps, workplace cock-ups, and conspicuously plush interior design; since she's stuck in a big-screen seriocomedy ... she must be swiftly rehabilitated of her egocentric ways. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Jumps back and forth between airy-fairy romantic comedy and leaden family drama with the alacrity of a manic-depressive. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: You are likely to encounter more surprises on the way to the bathroom each morning than you do in this film. Read more